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DELL Dimension 9200 running XP does not see 4GB memory

Posted on 2008-06-24
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Last Modified: 2008-06-30
I have a DELL Dimension 9200 running XP SP3.   The hardware see's the 4GB of memory, but not the OS.  Any suggestions?
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Question by:bjmorse
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8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:DarrenMcCall
ID: 21859228
Tried adjusting your paging file?
System Properties (sysdm.cpl)
"Advanced" tab
Performance "Settings" button
"Advanced" tab
Virtual Memory "Change"
"No paging file"
"Set"
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Expert Comment

by:Darius Ghassem
ID: 21859240
How much is the OS seeing?
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Assisted Solution

by:Wakeup
Wakeup earned 200 total points
ID: 21859241
Windows XP wont see over 3.25gb
It is the limitation of the OS.  Vista w/ no service packs also wont see over 4 gb.  W/ SP1 for vista it will see over 4gb.

Unfortunately yes the hardware will see the memory over 4gb, but the OS will not.

Actually have this pasted in a document somewhere:
If its 32 bit windows xp pro (which it most likely will be) then the maximum it will recognise is about 3.5gb, although the 4gb is physically there some is reserved, any more and you will require a 64 bit operating system and 64 bit compatible hardware (most hardware is these days anyway).

Virtual Address Space:
- A 32bit process running on a 32bit Windows OS can address 2GB of Virtual Address Space, unless it is compiled LARGEMEMORYAWARE.
- A 32bit process compiled LARGEMEMORYAWARE running on a 32bit Windows OS can address 3GB of Virtual Address Space, with /3GB enabled.
- A 32bit process compiled LARGEMEMORYAWARE running on a 64bit x64 Windows OS can address 4GB of Virtual Address Space.

- A 64bit process running on an x64 Windows OS can address 8TB of Virtual Address Space.
- A 64bit process running on an ia64 Windows OS can address 7.152TB of Virtual Address Space


Physical RAM:
- A 32bit Windows XP or Windows Vista OS can address 4GB of Physical RAM, no exceptions.

- A 32bit Windows 2000 Server can address 4GB of Physical RAM, no exceptions.
- A 32bit Windows 2000 Advanced Server can address 8GB of Physical RAM with /PAE enabled.
- A 32bit Windows 2000 Datacenter Server can address 32GB of Physical RAM with /PAE enabled.

- A 32bit Windows Server 2003 Web Edition server can address 2GB of RAM, no exceptions.
- A 32bit Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition server can address 4GB of RAM, no exceptions.
- A 32bit Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition server can address 32GB of Physical RAM with /PAE enabled.
- A 32bit Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition server can address 64GB of Physical RAM with /PAE enabled.

- A 64bit x64 Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Server 2003 OS can address 128GB of RAM.
- A 64bit ia64 Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition or Datacenter Edition server can address 1TB of RAM.


Just as a final point, a 64 bit operating system is capable of supporting 16 Exabytes of RAM - This is 17.2 Billion Gigabytes, so a massive amount of a memory, microsoft however has limited their OSs to 128GB for whatever reason, although theoritcally a 64 bit linux os would handle the full amount however unrealistic it sounds.


Dont remember where I got it...but its good info.
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Expert Comment

by:Smoken2337
ID: 21859252
If there is any shared memory it is going to pull from the RAM in your system so in the OS it will not show the full 4 Gigs
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Expert Comment

by:Wakeup
ID: 21859261
Oh and disreguard the " If it's 32bit windows XP Pro"  That was just from the cut and paste.
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Author Comment

by:bjmorse
ID: 21859272
It currently sees 2.5 GB.  I will try adjusting the paging file.
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Expert Comment

by:Wakeup
ID: 21859276
And also agree w/ smoken2337, the ram may be shared with the video card as well.  (especially if it is a built in video card on the dell motherboard)
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Accepted Solution

by:
Darius Ghassem earned 300 total points
ID: 21859298
Your computer supports a maximum of 4 GB of memory when you use four 1-GB DIMMs. Current
operating systems, such as Microsoft® Windows® XP, can only use a maximum of 4 GB of address space;
however, the amount of memory available to the operating system is less than 4 GB. Certain components
within the computer require address space in the 4-GB range. Any address space reserved for these
components cannot be used by computer memory.

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000811.html
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